POS Innovation

Visa, IBM Make Every IoT Device A POS Device

Payment with a connected device requires hardware, of course, at the point of payment. And until now, most often, the point of payment required a specialized bit of hardware. Usually on a merchant countertop.

But in an initiative dubbed “The Genius of Things,” Visa and IBM IoT platform — which includes Watson — announced today (Feb. 16) that they will bring smarter POS functionality — and Visa card acceptance — to any device that’s connected to the internet.

Through the collaboration, Visa’s global payments service, spanning 3 billion users globally, will enable secure payments via the IBM/Watson platform to as many endpoints as are connected to the internet – a number analysts say will be as many as 20 billion in just three years. That means that Visa cardholders will be able to pay for things via actions initiated from endpoints as varied as rings to running shows — from air conditioning units to autos.

The firms said in a release Thursday that the payments will be made secure via Visa Token Service’s digital identifier, which does not expose account details and also enables quick provisioning of cardholder accounts to these new endpoints. The duo also said there will be cross-pollination between platforms and services, as all Watson IoT customers will be able to use Visa payment services across the IBM Cloud. Visa has said the eponymous Token Service is accessible through token service providers, as part of the Visa Ready partnership program.

In an example proffered by the pair, there will be 380 million connected cards within the next four years. This platform will alert a driver when the car’s warranty is about to expire, parts need to be replaced or inspections need to be scheduled. The driver can then, with the push of a button, schedule warranty renewals or maintenance appointments — with payment credentials an embedded, secure part of that experience.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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